Wigan has one of the worst drink and drug-driving records in the country

Drink-drive shame
Drink-drive shame
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Wigan was unveiled today as having one of the worst drink and drug-driving records in the country.

Analysis of insurance policies places the borough seventh in a national table for breath and illegal substance test failures at the wheel.

The 2.26 convictions per 1,000 drivers is the highest in Greater Manchester and the second worst in the North West after Blackburn. It is the first time Wigan has appeared in the top 10.

Nationally the table is topped by Sunderland with a rate of 2.91. London dominates the other end of the league, although also there with a rate of just 0.82 is Wigan’s neighbour Bolton which, ironically, is covered by the same police traffic unit.

MoneySuperMarket studied seven million car insurance quotes run on its price comparison website over the last 12 months.

It found men are more likely to get behind the wheel while under the influence but the total rate of convictions has increased since 2016 for both male and female drivers.

The conviction rate for drink or drug-driving is lowest for over-65s, closely followed by 17 to 19-year-olds. Drivers aged 25 to 29 saw the highest rate of convictions.

Kevin Pratt, consumer affairs expert at MoneySuperMarket, said: “Although our analysis shows that it’s a minority that are offending, it’s worrying to see that convictions have increased since last year.

"This could be because people forget alcohol can stay in the system for a long time after the party is over, leading to being caught the following morning when they think they’re sober.

“An endorsement for drink or drug-driving sits on your licence for 11 years and you’ll have to declare the offence when you apply for car insurance for five years. So the message is clear: if you’re in any doubt about your sobriety, don’t drive!”

GMP does not comment on drink-driving convictions, but Supt Steve Keeley from its Wigan division said: “Drink-driving is an extremely serious offence with devastating consequences.

“We work proactively with our road policing team to identify drivers who are either unfit to drive or over the legal limit and will always encourage everyone to have ‘None for the Road’, particularly as the Christmas period approaches.”